Genealogy ABCs: U–Z
OK, so this one might be a bit of a stretch. But we really want you to know that every family story is unique. Don't get caught up in any preconceived notions of what your family should be. As you dig into your family history you might find some stories you find unsavory.
Your family is unique, and ultimately that is what makes them yours.
Do you have ancestors that served in the military? Military records include soldiers’ home records, unit histories, draft records, pension records, POW records, casualty records, cemetery records, and more. These records can also hold vital information about your ancestors, including but not limited to next of kin, employment, age, birth date, death date, rank, and awards.
To better research and understand military records, check out the FamilySearch Wiki, watch this past RootsTech session, and check out the interactive Vet Finder app created by the Family History Technology Lab at BYU.
Webinars are a great way to learn more about genealogy. Webinars are online seminars that are often educational in nature. Webinars are not the only online resource to help you continue your genealogy education at home. You can also use social media and the vast network of fellow genealogists around the world.
Webinars and social media are an ever-changing and growing resource for genealogists. And don't forget! You can become a voice for family history online as well.
I know what you’re thinking—what in the world does a copy machine have to do with genealogy?! Well, let me tell you. Photo scanning. Yup, that's it. It’s time to scan your photos, back up your digital copies, add metadata, and share them with your family!
Learn more about digitizing your photos with these blog posts: Organizing and Preserving Photograph Collections, 5 Steps to Identify a Family Photo, Take the Time to Discover the Story, Save the Story, and Tell the Story, 10 Apps for Capturing and Sharing Your Family's Story, and Making Sense of Unorganized Family Photos.
You are truly the most important part of family history. You are the one searching for the lost in your spare moments. You are the one interviewing your relatives and gathering stories. You are the one who has sifted through boxes of old photos and digitized them to share with others. You are the one who has come of age in an era of major technological advances. You are the one teaching the next generation.
While doing your family history research, it’s also important to give yourself credit and recognize your hard work. Genealogy is not always straightforward. You will encounter hurdles and stumbling blocks that will make you want to give up. It’s so important to recognize this and allow yourself to stumble and get right back up.
Well, we’ve reached the end of the Genealogy ABCs. And yet again, this might be a stretch, but Z stands for zero, and here’s why: no one, literally zero, people are ever completely finished with their genealogy research. There’s always work to be done, records to be found, archives to visit, and people to teach and share with. So take heart; you have officially joined a worldwide network of fanatics fighting every day to further genealogy around the globe.